The Astronaut Digital Twin

Space exploration presents unique challenges from both the engineering and medical perspectives. To deal with the complexity and scope of the engineering problem, systems engineering (SE) has been a useful approach for system development and deployment. In particular, digital twin platforms (DTPs) that represent physical systems virtually, mimic these systems quantitatively, and capture their variation have been exceedingly helpful to this effort. Medicine, in contrast, deals with human systems that must be reverse engineered and virtually reconstructed as biological DTPs. The Astronaut Digital Twin (ADT) is a DTP specifically designed using a SE approach to emulate the behavior of the astronaut entering the spaceflight environment by offering the ability to incorporate real time data, assess state, simulate outcomes, and alter the trajectory of the human system through countermeasure application. A spacefaring civilization will require considerable advancements in the ability to enhance astronaut performance, health, safety, and survival. The ADT is one critical tool to shorten the development cycle, pose complex questions about any unique environment, and test hypothetical countermeasures before entering those environments. This is expected to provide an advanced capability to the spacefaring community, as it grapples with these highly complex operations.

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